PICT’s ‘Oliver Twist’ Offers a Different Kind of Holiday Punch

The first review I’ve seen. My daughter plays one of the kids in Fagin’s gang.

The adaptation trims a few sub-plots and whittles out some characters, honing it to two and half hours that run well. Some of the novel’s best dialogue is kept, including the famous line “the law is a ass.” Good new stuff has been added, both in Stanford’s script and by the child actors who, says Stanford, invented a lot of their own interactions and stage business.

But there’s more than sharp chatter at work here. The play is visually stunning. It opens with a death scene (the first of several) staged at night in eerie fog. The criminal action proceeds under a looming silhouette of the old London skyline as a backdrop. And the actors, too, are a sight to behold. Through a mixture of fortunate casting and artfully coordinated movement (done smoothly even on the preview night I went), they create flashes of human imagery that are literally moving, regardless of the words they speak. —Entertainment Central Pittsburgh